Not everyone lives under the same rules. Sometimes we hold people to a higher standard than others in all that they do and leaders would be included in this group.
On November 2, 2011 Massachusetts Lt. Governor Timothy Murray was involved in a pretty horrific car crash on an empty road at 5:00 in the morning. The car he was driving was totaled and looking at the photos of the accident I am amazed he walked away without a scratch. Mr. Murray told police that he was not speeding and he was wearing his seatbelt. Just as a side not the car he was driving was his state issued car and it included a “black box” much like the ones that are in aircraft.
The State Police issued a report but not the data from the “black box’ and the local media wanted access to that information. Last week the data was released and it told a much different story than Mr. Murray told. According to the data, Mr. Murray was going 108 mph at the time of the crash and was not wearing a seatbelt. The State Police also mentioned he had fallen asleep, although I am not sure how they could tell that. So Mr. Murray lied!
Recently Dianne Williamson, an opinion columnist for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, wrote a piece that basically absolved Mr. Murray of any liability for the lie because after all we all do it! Well Ms. Williamson we do not all do it and even if we did, we need to hold our leaders to a much higher standard. The State Police issued Mr. Murray a ticket for speeding, a marked lanes violation, and not wearing a seatbelt. The ticket was for $550 and recently it was announced that his campaign committee will reimburse the Commonwealth for the vehicle.
Yesterday there was another story in the T & G about a candidate for a police job in the Town of Southbridge, my home town. According to the report, this man had been offered a job but prior to being placed on the job some information came to light. It would seem the applicant made some videos that were on YouTube, a little not, what happens online does not stay online! These videos show the applicant holding a gun to the head of someone who came to his door dressed in drag and, according to the report, homophobic remarks were made. Not exactly what you want in a police officer. Last night I happened to read the comments on the article and once again people were making excuses for this guy saying things like his private life should not enter into this at all. I would agree to the point where you put it online now it is public. His application has been withdrawn.
Leadership is not easy at any level and unfortunately leaders are held, or should be held, to a higher standard. Leadership is all about integrity and once you lose your integrity it is very hard to get it back. This applies to the church as well. Leaders at all levels from lay leadership up to and including the bishops need to lead with integrity, it what Jesus did!
How do you lead with integrity? What examples do you follow?